Safe Church Ministry is encouraging all churches and classes to adopt and implement the CRC Code of Conduct for ministry leaders. This article provides a history on the introduction of the Code of Conduct, as well as sites articles that provide further conversation on the importance of the Code of Conduct.
Amanda Benckhuysen, Director of Safe Church Ministry participated in a training on the Code of Conduct for Classis Eastern Canada (which is shared below as an additional resource as you consider adopting the Code into your church community).
A brief history on the code of conduct:
The Code emerged from a denominational conversation about the abuse of power, a conversation that was moved forward significantly by a CRC member named Bev Sterk, through her overture to Synod 2018 (to read her overture see Agenda for Synod 2018, pp. 282-307).
Recognizing the potential for all of these elements to work together to negatively impact Christian community, Synod 2019 made a number of decisions regarding recommendations from the Addressing Abuse of Power Committee. One of the outcomes of this work was the recommendation that we standardize a code of conduct for all leaders in the CRCNA.
At the June 15-16, 2021 meeting of the CRCNA's Council of Delegates, which took place in lieu of Synod 2021, the council adopted a code of conduct for those employed by Christian Reformed churches, classes, and denominational ministries.
At Synod 2022, the delegates will discuss how to implement the Code of Conduct. The proposal that is before Synod is that all office bearers sign the Code of Conduct in the same way office bearers sign the Covenant of Office Bearers. Just as we covenant around what we believe, signing the Code of Conduct is an invitation to covenant around how we behave.
Interested in taking a closer look at the Code of Conduct and understanding how to integrate it into your current Safe Church policy?
Amanda Benckhuysen, Director of Safe Church Ministry, joined Classis Eastern Canada Safe Church Team to walk through the code of conduct and share thoughts and ideas on implementing it in your classes.
Network posts regarding the Code of Conduct:
Why we have a Code of Conduct: “Recognizing the potential for all of these elements to work together to negatively impact Christian community, Synod 2019 made a number of decisions regarding recommendations from the Addressing Abuse of Power Committee. One of the outcomes of this work was the recommendation that we standardize a code of conduct for all leaders in the CRCNA.”
Colin Watson, Executive Director
Synodical Adoptions: Code of Conduct for Ministry Leaders
This article pinpoints how adoptions by synod led to the development of the Code of Conduct for Ministry Leaders in the Christian Reformed Church.
Eric Kas, Ministry Consultant, Safe Church Ministry
“A code of conduct provides clear descriptions of how church leaders should steward the authority and influence entrusted to them, clear expectations of how we treat one another, and clear wording for those who experience bad behavior in others and need ways to name it.”
Dave Den Haan, Pastor Church Resources